Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has corroborated with charter airliner, Voyage Travel Services, to offer vacation packages to Bahamians.
Tourism Minister Villedrouin wants to promote cultural exchange between Haitian-Bahamians and Haitian nationals. She feels learning about each other’s culture will promote harmonious relationships.
A second aim of MOT is to spur investment in Haiti’s tourism infrastructure. Villedrouin has engaged private investors by showing them some of Haiti’s historical artifacts to sharpen their interest in investing.
The City of Cayes, in southwestern Haiti, has seen its share of misfortune in its history, a trend which seems to be continuing into the future. Founded in 1786, Les Cayes, or simply Cayes, was haunted by pirates and ravaged by disease, destroyed once by fire and also by a hurricane. In its past, it was also the site of a bloody massacre in relatively recent history after U.S. marines, in 1929, murdered peasants by the dozen who were protesting against the U.S. occupation.
Recently, it would seem the luck of the inhabitants had changed when the government declared plans to build Les Cayes its own international airport. The first stone had been laid and expectations high, the hopes of the citizens high along with it, bolstered by the promise of the commerce and jobs to be created from the airport. But that dream has now, seemingly, been taken away after the population caught wind of news that the plans had been halted.
Les Cayes would have greatly benefited from the addition of an airport. Currently, it acts as a major port in Haiti, where sugarcane, coffee, timber and bananas are exported. It is also the largest supplier of vetiver to the world, sending out some 250 tons of the perfume making ingredient every year. The city is also blessed with one of Haiti’s best, longest and most popular beaches, Gelée Beach. As the site of an annual Compas festival in August, and also a famous botanical garden, Le Jardin Botanique des Cayes, the city was poised to capitalize favorably on the planned airport.
Ile à Vache, the small, picturesque island off the south coast of Haiti, has been benefitting from a massive campaign by the tourism ministry to rejuvenate its beatific and attractive points, so as to provide the luxury of paradise to much-wanted tourists. Taking a cue from the government’s efforts on Ile à Vache, Minustah, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, has provided over $200,000 US in funding for the building of a covered market that should advance not just tourism, but the overall economy of the little island, and the larger Haiti.
Professionals have been gathered from the Brazilian military, currently in Haiti, alongside 16 local masons, to answer the call made by the authorities in Haiti for the project which began in June and is slated to end with an opening ceremony and a handing over of the reins in August. It’s said to be a somewhat daunting operation due to the challenges presented by the geography of the island, calling for the airlifting of some personnel as well as the shipment of hundreds of tons of gravel, sand and other materials by boat.
Considered one of the Caribbean’s last great destinations, Ile à Vache has been described by Sean Stevens, Lieutenant Commander, as a tourism development project of great ambition. The island already has a market, but it is ill-fit for the purpose of tourism. With this new covered market, Ile à Vache will be on its way to sustainability, something the producers of the venture, including NGO “Soul of Haiti, the Tourism Ministry, Minustah and local authorities all wish to see.
The North Regional Minister of Tourism, Dieudonne Étienne, accompanied by some of her managers, visited Limbé and Bas-Limbé to determine what features of these two towns can be developed for the tourist trade.
On her first stop in Limbé, she met with Mayor Franzdy Dagobert. They visited the Museum Guahaba, which contains an anthology of anthropological evidence about Haiti’s pre-historic past. She wants to overhaul the structure to make it attractive to visiting tourists, whose patronage will yield economic benefits to the town and the surrounding areas.
Étienne continued on to Bas-Limbé where she met with the mayor. They traveled to Sant d’Eau, an annual pilgrimage site for Voodoo believers, who purify themselves under an immense waterfall. She wants to improve this site for tourist consumption also. Caramel Beach, another tourist spot recently re-imagined, was next on her agenda. The resort has been restored at a cost of 1.7 million gourdes, and Étienne was pleased with the results.
At her last stop at Acul du Nord’s unloading dock construction site, she reviewed the progress of the project, which is proceeding apace. The importance of this site is it will permit tourists access to Acul du Nord’s National Historic Park, when they arrive at the unloading dock.
It is reassuring to know the North Regional Ministry of Tourism is spending money to develop sites of historical and cultural significance, so that tourists may learn more about the fascinating Caribbean country that is Haiti.
One of Campas’s most notable pioneers that are very popular in the region is the System Band. This Haitian ensemble was formed in the year 1980 by former members of the Les Freres Dejean, also called The Brothers Dejean, a famous band in the country during the 1960s and 1970s. System Band’s former front man was the late Fritz Bernard Frederic, more populary known as “Ti Mitou”, who is now a legend in Haitian music. Its other past and current members include Ernst “Tines” Vincent, Reginal Benjamin, Isnard Douby, Delva Michel, Lucien Ceran, Martial Bigaud and many others.
Since their formation and growing popularity in the 80s, System Band has been able to release more than twenty albums and released Compas hits like “Vacances”, “Pa Pile”, “Zo”, “Moune mele”, and “Viagra”. Like other Compas musicians, the ensemble is known for its lively beat and catchy drum rhythm. As of 2011, the System Band has released an album entitled Se Nou’k Kon’n Fè’l that is comprised of twelve upbeat tunes.
Haiti is known for its colorful people and lively ambiance. Music is one of the most prominent features of the country which shape its people and their culture as a whole. One of the most popular forms of Haiti’s music is the Compas, which is a new version of the native Haitian genre of Meringue. Practiced since the 1800s, its modern sound has been popularized by saxophonist and guitarist Nemours Jean-Baptiste in the mid-1950s and has influenced musicians throughout the Caribbean. The Haitian group System Band has contributed enormously to the evolution of Compas.
Raoul Guillaume was a well known and established saxophonist who was Haitian by Nationality. In addition, to being a saxophonist Raoul Guillaume was also talented band leader as well as an arranger. Raoul Guillaume was born in the year 1927 in Port-au-Prince. His musical talented began to show when he was very young and at the time he started to go to school.
It is important to mention that Raoul Guillaume grew to become one of the most celebrated as well as respected Haitian artist. Moreover, this popularity and respect that Raoul Guillaume gained was beyond his homeland Haiti. It is said that Raoul Guillaume attended shool with another well appreciated and seasoned artist called Guy Durosier. Raoul Guillaume and Guy Durosier attended St Louis Conzague School.
Later Raoul Guillaume joined the Orchestre Saieh band and coincidentally they did so with Guy Durosier. The Orchestre Saieh band consisted of other well talented musicians such as Rene Ferdinand, Charles Dessalines, Ansy Derose and Joe Trouillot.
Later Raoul Guillaume went to live in New York as a result of political reasons. Haiti at that moment was under the leadership of Duvalier. Raoul Guillaume returned to Haiti after the removal and exile of Raoul Guillaume. After trying to bring some talented musicians together and failed, Raoul Guillaume later on.
Tabou Combo has been a source of pride for Haiti. With the following members ; Albert Chancy(founder), Herman Nau(founder), Andrew Washington, Adolphe chancy, Elysee Pyronneau, Jean Claude Jean, Jean Yves Joseph , john Champagne, Paul henegan, Yvonne Andre, Roger M Eugene and Ernst Marcolin(left), Tabou Combo has waved the flag of Haiti in the music industry.
With the rhythm of the song, Tabou Combo try to counter the cruel treatment of the black race around the world and defending the poor. The history of this group began in a simple way; two members, Albert Chancy and Herman Nau in a small church back in 1969. The theme of this band in music is to fight for the betterment of Haitians all over the world. Together, they have been trying to counter the negative image of Haiti in the world such as hunger and illiteracy. Recently, Tabou Combo formed an association which is helping to combat the problems of most Haitians which is to eat well, remove illiteracy and bring hope to every Haitian.
For a period of thirty years since 1969, the group has toured many countries around the world for performances. The accent of their rhythm includes the Haitian Creole, French, English as well as Spanish. They stated off by going all over the streets of Haiti performing live band. This is where they got their first award,” the Radio Haiti Award”. This was given to them for being the best musical band of 1969.
In 1970, Tabou Combo had grown bigger and vigorous. For the first time to play at international level, Tabou Combo went to Brooklyn on December 1970 in New York City to perform their live band. This was the beginning of their long journey into the international career. Their performances are done on the dance floor using most of Haitian musical instruments together with some of the Brazilian percussions.
“Emperatrice of Haitian Music” and “The Queen of the Meringues” are merely just titles awarded to this legend, but words are not enough to describe Lumane Casimir, the first and most famous female folk singers of Haiti. Born in 1920, nothing much is known about this legend’s childhood. She came in the spotlight when she was 14 years old when she left her hometown Gonaives and moved to Port-au-Prince. She had no friends, relatives, money and nothing except a guitar.
Her days in Port-au-Prince didn’t seem to be much of a pleasure as she had to sing in the streets for money. But her hard work paid off, she was recognized by a pianist and some other bands. Her beautiful voice had the power to emotionally move everyone. Lumane Casimir became a sensation, she could be seen performing with every band and soon all of Haiti recognized her. International recognition came soon when she performed at the Champ-de-Mars and was applauded by tourists from around the world.
But melancholy was to strike soon; she withdrew from her career in 1951 and gave no reasons. She became isolated and started living in a tiny room in Port-au-Prince.
Lumane Casimir never performed again and poverty struck. People came up with two possible reasons, she was suffering from tuberculosis and secondly, she was addicted to alcohol. She died just after 4 years of reclusion, in 1955. Only two of her pictures are available today. She was a kind hearted person who spent her short life singing songs and spreading smile on others’ faces.
Mr. Fritzner Beauzile is a new National Director who had been installed Friday, May 25, 2012 by Ady Jean Gardy, the Minister of Communications to the National Press (Presses Nationals). He has been given this position in replacement of Pierre Robert Auguste who was a great entrepreneur and also renowned journalist.
Mr. Pierre Robert August has informed in his spontaneous speech that the results achieved during the time of his work which is less than 6 month are to improve the salaries of employee, make possible a more open relationship with clients of the institution, and refurbish structures of National Press and also to provide a better rigorous training to all staff.
The new Director General, Mr. Fritzner Beauzile, informed in press that he was aware of the tasks which were coming nearly soon and he also said he was aware about the many challenges and promised, with the assistance of the Government and its supervising Minister, to award the institution of adequate means and appropriate resources so as to improve the quality of production. To attract new funds and gaps the deficit of National Press to first legal clients, he relies on the whole public administration. He supports the idea of outgoing Director General, to generate a School of Printing for Haitian youth and to have launched the Book Fair.
Mr.Fritzner Beauzile is new but he has promised to the Minister of Communication all his cooperate in the exercise of its mission. There are little about his achievements but one can find all information about him from any of the many available libraries all over the world where there is a lot of information that one can easily acquire and that is more detailed.
The peoples’ favourite, Erick Cadet passed on. He was a promoter and a radio personality better known as A 2 Z (A to Z). The year 2011 ended with such sadness on Thursday, December 29th with the news of the passing of radio personality Francois Erick Cadet, who was also known in the community as promoter. He has been struggling with his health and has battled cancer for the past 6 years but finally succumbed to the fatal disease. After the viewing, the re-pass was held at one on the communities well known Randy’s Restaurant where a crowd gathered to share stories of this wonderful man. The evening was one full of life because everyone knew somehow their friend was in a better place and would suffer no more.
Although a lot of hearts in the room were heavy for the void that was left by a friend gone too soon; everyone found a way to share their experience of how they knew the late Francois Erick Cadet or A to Z. He was a humble man, integrated, disciplined, simple, respectful and kind, who had a vision for the show business Haitian. In less than 10 years, through its radio broadcasts on WSRF (1580AM/Planet Radio) and dances he organized, he knew how to mark the Haitian music industry. May his soul rest in peace and he will always remain in the minds of many.